Thursday, September 3, 2015
Moving to a new home and job.....
Its been several months and thousands of smiles, tears, miles, boxes, tape, goodbyes to dear friends, heartache and celebration since I wrote my last blog.
Its the beginning of September. Gary, Heather, Xander, Diva Gerl and I all now live in Anaheim, California. We moved here a month ago and I just finished my fifth week as Executive Director at a local university. God was very good to us and helped us during every detail of the job search, the offer, the actual job, the home search, the yard sale, the packing, the move and most of all in the unpacking and settling. His power and control is amazing to me.
One example of how God worked for us is related to our yard sale. Before we knew where we were moving to, we knew we had to eliminate various items from our home inventory due to clutter, aging and downsizing. We planned the yard sale for one particular Saturday and staged all sale items in the garage. Normally, our gardners came on Saturday. I forgot about this fact and it would have been disasterous had they shown. On Friday morning, while at an appointment, Heather called me to ask if I had changed the gardener's schedule as the team was there a day early mowing. God planned that well, didn't he.
After an extensive job search which took me to Baltimore and Phoenix and many telephone destinations, I was offered an incredible position (dream job) in California. We had considered and interviewed for positions in Baton Rouge, 4 in Houston, Louisville, and Portland. All other jobs would have resulted in pay cuts and many other negatives. I was thrilled to land the current position.
Meanwhile, Gary has been going in and out of confusion. Traveling to Disneyland for a brief vacation during a job interview resulted in many mishaps and my realization that traveling with him anymore without significant support is nearly impossible. During my exhaustion and sleep while on vacation, three nights he escaped the room and ended up in the hallway while looking for the Kitchen or the bathroom. After a security guard brought him back to our hotel room at 3:00am. (Thankfully, I told the front desk at check-in that if they found him wandering by accident to notify me. ) So, now the doors in hotels have guardian angel chimes on the door so I will awaken if he tries to leave the room. (This worked well during our move when we stayed in a hotel for three nights).
During the same trip, I finally determined that he walks at a snails pace and cannot do things like Disneyland. He didn't really care about the activities and I spent most of the day literally dragging him from one place to the next. For some it is the happiest place on earth. At that time, for me, it was very uncomfortable and frankly, I could not wait to leave. Ironically, my new office in Anaheim has a commanding view of the Matterhorn, Mickey's Ferris Wheel and the Tower of Terror at the Disney parks. I have chosen to look at these each day as a rememberance of what Gary's and my vacations used to be....fun and full of adventure. Those are things we will not do together again. The view is bittersweet.
Moving Gary to a new multi-level home has resulted in trauma related to him not being able to find one of multiple bathrooms; disorientation regarding finding our living room which houses his favorite chair and several bathroom accidents. He is now settled into going to a local senior day care three times per week. I can see the roof of his day care from my main college building. They bring him home in the late afternoon where he takes naps and waits on me to get home. This is a time for Heather that can be filled with hundreds of questions, incessant talking and boredom for Gary.
Our little dog Diva Gerl has experienced kennel cough (no walks nor exposure to other dogs) which she contracted from kenneling during our move. Then, a cyst on her side became infected and had to be removed. With 10 staples in her side and having to wear a collar for 14 days, the poor thing has not enjoyed our new home at all. No walks, no exercise and isolation for her. Gary has not understood the need to leave on her collar for safety and so she did not chew the incision. So, everyday, multiple times per day, he is scolded for removing her collar. Tomorrow, the collar is removed and perhaps we can begin walking again. Though slow, he will enjoy that freedom out of the house (Never alone of course).
I sincerely hope that God's plan for us is as grand as I imagine it will be. He is certainly grooming me for something big! I have the professional challenge of my career with 200+ employees and almost 1600 students. My days are full. I go straight home to be with the family and to relieve Heather. I still make time for getting hair and nails done but have very little time to myself. I am adjusting and enjoying what time I do have with Gary.
The highlight of my day is watch him and the other seniors when we walk him into the day care. They all light up and say "Good morning!" He quickly signs in and forgets I am there as he goes about breakfast and I leave for work. I am glad he has found a place he likes and wants to go everyday.
God is looking out for us.